First Friday: Chasing Cars

A few weeks after delivering my son, hormones and mommy guilt prompted me to take my then two-and-a-half year old daughter on a lunch date. We ended up at d’Bronx, a cute little pizza joint that we had frequented the last month of my pregnancy. So frequent in fact, I could safely credit my final weight balloon on their “Slice and A Drink” special.

We laughed. We cried. We bonded.

Okay, maybe that’s stretching it a bit. I was sleep deprived, and she was two. But as we walked out hand in hand, I felt like a rock star mom.

And then a kitten ran out into the street.

Before I knew it, Grace had released my hand and began chasing after the little streak of gray and white. Above the street noise, I could hear her sweet voice repeating over and over, “Nice kitty. Nice kitty.” And even though I couldn’t see it, I could hear a car barreling down the road.

Barreling straight toward my baby.

Throwing our leftover pizza box in the air and running as fast as my postpartum legs could carry me, I screamed, “Grace, run to mama. Run.” Her precious little face turned to mine, and I caught her hand just as the tires screeched in front her.

Tires that mercifully belonged to a police vehicle.

With my heart pounding and tears flowing, I scooped my girl up and nearly hugged the breath out of her. I kissed her face all the way to the car. And I whispered prayers of gratitude as I sat in my seat waiting for my hands to stop shaking.

The memory of that day still plays vividly in my mind. But the picture that I absolutely cannot erase is the moment that Grace turned to look at me. Even though over a ton of metal was coming straight at her, her eyes fixed on me.

She wasn’t anxious. Or nervous. Or afraid.

Instead, a quiet confidence filled her big brown eyes. It was as though as long as she had me in her sights, everything was okay. Mom had it under control.

Even with me screaming her name, throwing things and losing my everloving mind, my girl trusted me.

It made no logical sense. And yet, it illustrated the perfect truth of a peace that passes all understanding. It wasn’t just peace within a circumstance.

It was peace that defied the circumstance.

Over the last few weeks, it has become clear to me that we as Christ-followers are in desperate need of that kind of peace. Because in reality, life is filled with oncoming cars.

For some, the car will be illness. For others, loss. For others still, betrayal.

And truth be told, there will be some days that the “car” moniker just does not cut it. Because in the thick of it, adversity feels more like a Mack truck than a frou frou coupe.

But no matter the variety, whether it’s barreling toward us or knocking us flat, we can cling to the promise of God’s peace.

Now sometimes, we’ll buy the lie that this kind of peace is, itself, some kind of frou frou, wishy-washy good feeling. But it's not. This peace is gifted by God and literally blows the mind of humanity.

And people on the outside looking in just won’t get it.

It is why you might observe such sweet folks wringing their hands. Or speaking words of wishy-washy comfort. Or even trying to save you themselves.

But the truth is, God’s peace only comes when we set aside human anxiety and cease to fear what could be or even what is. It infuses us when we let go enough to fall at the feet of Jesus with broken, grateful hearts as we pray in earnest. Leaving us with the promise of Philippians 4, a peace that will pass all understanding and will guard not only our broken hearts but our minds as well.

That kind of peace can knock a giant Mack truck around like a Matchbox car.

I say this not just because I believe God will do what He says. Even though, in reality, that should be enough. I say this because I have experienced the power of God’s peace in my own life and vicariously, through the lives of those I love.

In the last few years alone, I have felt it lift me out of the greatest sadness I have ever known. I have watched it permeate the cruelest of diseases. And I have stood in awe at its quiet presence beside a tiny coffin.

I have seen God’s peace defy circumstance over and over and over again.

And the funny thing is, God isn’t freaking out. Or screaming. Or even throwing things in response to our oncoming cars.

He leaves that crazy business to us.

Instead, He calls out softly, just above the street noise, “Run, walk or crawl to me, my love. I’ll hold you close, help you breathe and give you the greatest peace this world will ever know.”

Sara Cormany guest posts on the first Friday of each month. Sara is mommy to six-year-old Grace, four-year-old Drew and one-year-old Sophie. When she is not wiping noses, changing diapers or chasing her kids, she is a sometimes writer and a sometimes teacher to teenagers. But her most cherished role is that of one who is perfectly held by Jesus. She loves watching Him take the broken, the messy and the seemingly mundane of her everyday and turn it into something beautiful.